「四人の絆」 (Yonin no Kizuna)
“The Bonds of the Four”

Seems as if this series is following up each major arc with two filler episodes, and contrary to the title, the first one of the pair actually wasn’t really about bonding at all. Instead, the majority of it was dedicated to everyone’s rest and relaxation, although I’m not sure if the spring cleaning of the Odette II and Bentenmaru really counts as either one. Yet this episode actually wasn’t as dull and mundane as the premise sounds. Much to my surprise, I still found the story rather entertaining, if not particularly good, and a lot of it was thanks to Marika bringing the same enthusiasm to cleaning that she does to pirating.

I am probably somewhat biased, but I really think it’s a testament to how likeable of a character Marika is in that she’s able to carry an otherwise humdrum episode on the strength of her personality alone. Some people might not like her Genki Girl archetype, but I believe one of its strengths is in making slower episodes like this one more enjoyable. This is especially true when the girl is a mellower version of the archetype, and/or when she’s drowsy. In Marika’s case, although it seems as if every minute is spent battling sleep deprivation, an enthusiastic girl like her doesn’t know the meaning of the words rest and relaxation. The poor girl looks like she could pass out any second, but instead of taking a nap she uses her downtime to clean both ships. I respect and admire this aspect of hers as I think leaders who are willing to do the dirty work themselves are better able to understand the people whom they lead, but she also needs to learn the value of proper rest since it will cut down on avoidable mistakes like forgetting to lock the door and losing her ID ring. In any case, without all of Marika’s cute facial expressions and just plain endearing personality, I don’t know if I would have really cared much for this episode, especially with the unfortunate lack of any Chiaki moments. Every episode could use more Chiaki, right?

One person who in the beginning didn’t seem all that fond of Marika was the younger Serenity princess, Grunhilde. At first, I thought she resented Gruier for having such a close friendship with Marika and then ignoring her sister as a result, but as the episode went on I began to have the feeling Grunhilde was actually was jealous of the bond between princess and pirate. Who can blame her though? There’s this awesome girl whom you like, but another person is monopolizing the relationship (and ‘flirting’ like crazy too). When Marika’s ID ring fell into the outstretched hand of an unknown person, I immediately knew it would be Grunhilde’s hand, but for some reason I didn’t think she would do something nice with it. I expected her to use it somehow in a devious way – what exactly, I didn’t know. Fortunately, the princess had principles, and her good deeds were rewarded in a way by finding out that she too, shared a bond with Marika and Gonzaemon. My only question is why Grunhilde just didn’t ask her sister what the ring was instead of going to Lynn.

The real bright spot in this episode for me was when the two Bentenmaru crews, the Yacht Club girls and the original crew, finally met one another, although I wish that the girls and their adult counterparts could have interacted more. The girls (who by the way brought so much stuff during their brief stay) all seemed like they really want to be pirates/sailors, taking their positions on the bridge instead of merely undoing the master lock, so it seemed like a ripe opportunity for the adults to show the girls a thing or two, and vice versa. I just hope it’s not the last we see of the two groups together on the ship.

  • So that’s why the fighter is called Silent Whisper – it’s able to hear everything, even silent whispers!
  • Aside from the ‘Black Holy’ ED, Marika finally shows off her singing voice in the show itself, and I want more!
  • Full-length images: 03, 05, 13, 19, 20, 23, 27.




  1. I really thought Grunhilde was jealous of how close her sister, Gruier was getting with Marika. Her reminding her sister of the difference of their and Marika’s social status had me strongly believing she was trying to get more quality time with her onee-san. But I guess she was just jealous of the strong bond between her sister and Marika, and it was good to see Gruier also including her sister in the bond fostered with Marika’s ID ring in the center.

    And did I just put on my yuri goggles too tight or did Gruier really declare her intentions to capture Marika with that fate and destiny speech? Look out Chiaki-chan, your rival in love is starting to get serious 🙂

    And next weeks preview looks interesting, with the Space Yacht club getting a change of scenery, from the rigors of sailing in space to take on the waves of the wide blue sea. Can’t wait to see what looks like a dinghy race between the club members. I’m especially looking forward to Marika going up against the current ace pilot, Ai-chan.


      Look out Chiaki-chan, your rival in love is starting to get serious 🙂

      Chiaki-chan is too tsun-tsun to realize her true feelings for Marika. Oh well, looks like Gruelle is going to win.

      Gruelle was already in love with Marika when she gave her that ID ring, not to mention seeing her beloved pirate girl in a business suit with a super-short skirt. Looks like we do not have to use our yuri goggles after this episode.

      As for Grunhilde, I believe that she either wants to get in their relationship or she wants some more onee-sama love. But now, she is happy to hear that her onee-sama wants her to join pirating with them. So apparently, those sisters will get Marika first while (poor) Chiaki-chan will be left in the dust.

      John Hayabusa
    2. We are onto episode 19 so some of us may have forgotten while Ai-chan was said to have won some pilot competition, Marika was praised on her flying in episode ONE.

      Anyways, beach episode incoming \o/

  2. T’was a nice relaxing episode~ And yes, Marika has a supremely endearing personality as well as cute facial expressions~

    Though the episode actually did not turn out as I thought since i was expecting that when Marika lost her ring, someone would decide to take the Bentenmaru for a joyride or something (said person being Grunhilde).

  3. I have to watch a episode of Jormungand just to calm down after watching this series :).

    I’ll miss the loli Yacht Club – that was a fun arc with the girls pirating around and
    rescuing Jenny, etc. This is a fun watch, much like A-Channel or Nichijō – that’s okay with me.

    Are we going to get our promised swimsuit edition next week?

    1. I also thought that would be what the whole episode would be about. Now it makes me feel that I had too little faith in Grunhilde. I’m sorry, I should’ve trusted your royal DNA.

  4. a slice of pirate’s life for me!
    (my Mom wants a pair of the cute little cleaning droids, badly!)
    the one ring to rule all of the Bentenmaru’s functions, better keep it on a neck chain, Marika…

  5. Raise a thunmb if you recognize this episode to be done by one of the key animators from Sailor Moon. They (I’m not sure if it’s a she or a he) have rounded out their angles bu the eye mouth and hand are very distinctly their style. Can you tell i use to draw of the screen paused scenes from Sailor Moon when I was young and this first aired in North America. lol

  6. Just a quick observation but you’re aware that the whole “Bonds of the Four” thing is in reference to the bond between Marika, her father, Gruier and Grunhilde right? Which was basically the point of a whole half of the episode, what with the loss of the ring and all. Thought I’d point that out since you claimed the episode was “contrary to the title” and not really about bonding at all.

    1. Yeah, I realize that the title is in reference to that, but to me, if an episode is about bonding, it would really be about people actually getting to know one another, you know, bonding. Instead, Marika spent a good deal of the episode by herself, and any bonding only constituted a small minority of the time, so that’s why I didn’t really consider this episode about bonding. If you think about it, they really only mentioned the bonds between the four for maybe a minute at most.

      1. Yeah, sometimes I just think its a translation issue, or the use of a
        Japanese colloquial term that doesn’t translate well. If the BD’s have
        cliff notes, then we’ll know for sure…


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